1. Please tell us about yourself? Your name, where you’re from, where do you currently live.
A. My name is Imrana Sohail, I’m from Pakistan and I live in Toronto, Ontario.
2. What is your business name and when did you get started?
I run a fresh floral accessory business called MYGLADS. I started my business in 2017 in Toronto.
3. What inspired & motivated you to start your own business?
My passion for flowers and decor leads me to start my business, Initially I created floral Jewelry and flower arrangements for my friends and family, after getting a lot of appreciation I decided to do it professionally. Being a single mother, I had financial needs and my business is helping me manage those needs.
My qualifications, passion and my hard work has helped me succeed. I believe success is having satisfied and happy clients who acknowledge my hard work and honesty.
4. If I could go back in time when I started my business, I would tell myself…
If I could go back in time when I started the business, I would definitely tell myself to reach out to similar businesses or people who are in the same industry for collaborations. I learned later on that it is the best way to promote your services and products. Although you don’t get any monetary benefits for the time being you gain an amazing network who end up being some of your regular clients and together, we strive to serve our community in better ways. We get to benefit from each other as well for example, while they get to accessorize the models with my fresh floral jewelry, I get professionally taken photographs and videos of my products to post on my social media accounts.
Also, I would tell myself to be consistent on social media and also take advantage of the influencer culture to promote my business. It is a huge market and I was too late in the game but we learn from our mistakes and I have been learning lot about my online presence as that is the only source i get to showcase my work.
5. What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Initially I had a hard time reaching out to people and potential clients, I often had to provide services which didn’t help me gain much profit but I advertised on social platforms, through word of mouth people started reaching out and then I started getting a lot of order for weddings and parties and it helped grow my business.
6. The best business advice you ever received?
I have always loved flowers and always visited all the floral exhibitions held in Karachi, during one of those exhibitions I met a very talented ikebana Instructor Nafeesa Tapal. She encouraged me to take ikebana lessons and I followed through and did my Ikebana certification of 3 years. I am now certified by Japanese consulate as an ikebana Instructor. I also conducted learning sessions at Premiere College, Mississauga.
7. Tell us about the services you offer?
I offer made to order fresh and dry flower products which include (Center Pieces, Corsages, Wreaths, Garlands, Boutonnieres, floral crowns, earrings, hair pieces, bouquets) Wedding and Mehndi Sets: Tikka, Earrings, Necklace, hair pieces, hath phool and gajras.
8. How do you advertise your business?
I advertise my business through social media platforms and Out- of home-advertising.
9. How does your business help the community?
I run a small business where I provide made to order floral items and one of the important benefits of that it lets me provide one one customer service, my price quotes are exceptionally reasonable as compared to larger businesses. I work passionately and prioritize my clients’ needs and requests – be it delivering the items to their door step and I consider it to be effective in a way that it builds trust within your community and provides accessibility.
10. How do you balance your business & home life?
I balance my home life and business well with help of my kids when I have orders they help in cooking, cleaning and house chores. They are greatest strength.
11. Hobbies, interests. How do you unwind yourself?
My work can be very exhausting sometimes plus it requires sitting for long hours so after I finish, I like to watch movies and documentaries. On weekends me and my kids like to go out for breakfast. I also visit different parks nearby to enjoy the weather.
12. What is a day in your life like?
My day starts with waking up at 6am and then I offer my morning prayers, I prepare breakfast for myself and my kids; soon after I drop my kids off to school, I get home I make myself a cup of tea and reply to emails and messages, I then prepare for my following floral orders which requires budgeting, creating quotes, talking to clients, buying flowers, talking to vendors, and crafting any orders I have for that day and then delivering them to my clients. Around noon I take my online Islamic classes. I like to sit outside in my backyard and enjoy my evening tea with a little snack to go with it and while I do that, I nurture my plants, decorate and tidy up my backyard. I offer my evening prayers and then I prepare dinner, around 8pm me and my kids have dinner and discuss our day. We watch a little tv after and then we offer our prayers and go to bed.
13. How is Glads different from other similar businesses?
As I have mentioned above, my business is all about quality service and product. I delicately handcraft all the accessories; I discuss all the details with my clients and offer best advice regarding their options. I charge my clients with the most reasonable prices. I value my clients and I work on the tinniest details with all my dedication. I also offer discounts on bigger orders and offer complimentary products as well.
14. What advice would you give to others who want to start their own business?
Running and maintaining a business is definitely not a piece of cake, it takes a lot of courage, dedication and hard work. So, my advice to new business owners would be to maintain that passion and be true to your clients and work.
15. How can we find you online- social media platforms sites & personal site & email etc?
Would you like to have your business featured in our blog and social media? Please send us an email with your business name, description and website/ social media links at firstname.lastname@example.org